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Preventing Teeth Grinding and Bruxing

Do you wake up every morning with a sore jaw? Has your partner noticed you grinding your teeth at night? Or do you have increased tooth pain or sensitivity?

You may be dealing with bruxism. Bruxism, or the grinding and clenching of teeth, can lead to jaw pain, sleep disruption, and other concerns that interfere with daily life. Our team at Dr. Patrick L. Quain, DDS can diagnose bruxism and potentially provide treatment methods, like night guards or stress management techniques.

What Is Bruxism?

Bruxism consists of grinding, clenching, or gnashing your teeth, either while awake or asleep. If you deal with bruxism while you’re awake, you may already be aware of it, but those who grind their teeth while sleeping often don’t realize it until the issue leads to jaw pain or wakes up their partner.

There is uncertainty about what exactly causes bruxism, but there may be a combination of physical, psychological, and genetic factors at play. Anxiety, stress, frustration, tension, and anger, can all lead to bruxism. It can also stem from the misalignment of your teeth, leaving your teeth trying to find a comfortable resting place at night.

Bruxism is more common in those who are aggressive, competitive, or hyperactive, as well as in young children. Bruxism can also occur as a side effect of some medications or due to genetics.

Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

If you know that you regularly grind or clench your teeth, you should consult with our team at Dr. Patrick L. Quain, DDS about whether the impact is severe enough to require treatment. Some of the most common symptoms of teeth grinding that may indicate you’re grinding your teeth in your sleep include:

  • Pain in your jaw, neck, or face
  • A dull headache in your temples
  • Damage to the surfaces of your teeth
  • Receding gums
  • A clicking noise when you open and close your jaw
  • Increased tooth pain and sensitivity

Bruxism Treatment

If you suspect you’re grinding or clenching your teeth, our team at Dr. Patrick L. Quain, DDS will examine your teeth and mouth, checking for signs of bruxism like worn tooth surfaces, receding gums, and jaw pain. If we think you have bruxism and the damage is progressing, we may suggest a course of treatment to alleviate the teeth grinding. One of the most common treatments for sleep bruxism is a night guard. This custom-made mouth guard keeps your teeth separated at night and prevents you from grinding your teeth. We also may discuss stress and anxiety management or behavioral changes to address the problem.

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